About the New England First Amendment Awards

February 7, 2020
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel
606 Congress Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Parking Options

Luncheon guests can self-park at the Park Lane Garage. The garage entrance can be found on Park Lane. Turn right onto Park Lane from D Street, then the ramp will be on the left. A map and rates can be found here. Guests may also use the hotel valet service for a flat rate of $50.

Event Program

Transcript With Audio


11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meet and Greet with A. G. Sulzberger, Caspian Room, 2nd Floor (Private event for students of sponsoring journalism departments)

12:30 p.m. Luncheon Begins

12:40 p.m. Welcoming Remarks By Karen Bordeleau, NEFAC President

12:45 p.m. Luncheon Served

1 p.m. Presentation of the Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award to the Cook v. Raimondo Student Activists; Presented By Edward Fitzpatrick, The Boston Globe

1:10 p.m. Presentation of the Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award to Hearst Connecticut Media Group; Presented By Mike Stanton, University of Connecticut

1:20 p.m. Presentation of the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award to A. G. Sulzberger; Presented By Walter V. Robinson, The Boston Globe

2 p.m. Closing Remarks By Karen Bordeleau, NEFAC President

Award Nomination Materials (Closed)

• Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award
• Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award

2020 Award Recipients

A. G. Sulzberger, The New York Times | Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award

A. G. Sulzberger is publisher of The New York Times. As publisher, Sulzberger is the principal steward of the editorial independence and ambition of Times journalism, and oversees both newsroom and company operations. Sulzberger was a reporter at The Providence Journal and The Oregonian before joining The Times’s Metro desk in 2009. He later worked as a National correspondent, covering the Midwest as head of the Kansas City bureau. Sulzberger has been one of the architects of The Times’s digital transformation and was the principal author of the 2014 Innovation Report, which focused on growing and engaging The Times’s digital audience. He has also been one of the driving forces behind The Times’s business strategy, including the shift to a subscription-first business model. He is a graduate of Brown University. Sulzberger is the sixth member of the Ochs/Sulzberger family to serve as publisher since the newspaper was purchased by Adolph Ochs in 1896.

Hearst Connecticut Media Group | Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award

A team of seven journalists at Hearst Connecticut spent more than six months digging through 1,600 pages of public documents and filing more than 100 public record requests to investigate abuse allegations connected to the Boys & Girls Clubs. They found more than 100 cases of abuse involving 280 victims in 31 states over the course of 70 years. The Hearst staff used the documents it obtained to create a public database that allows parents sending a child to a local Boys & Girls Club to look up information about incidents and how they were handled by the organization. As a result of the reporting, Boys & Girls Clubs of America — which oversees 4,600 local affiliates — announced it will hire a third-party firm to review how it responds to complaints related to abuse and will provide additional safety training to its staff.

Cook v. Raimondo Student Activists | Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award

The students filed a federal lawsuit in November 2018 against Rhode Island state officials — including the governor, legislative leaders and the education commissioner — arguing that the state is failing to provide the civics education they need to be engaged citizens. This lack of education, they argued, violates their rights under the U.S. Constitution. It deprives them of the knowledge necessary to “function productively as civic participants” and leaves them without “the basic minimal skills necessary for the enjoyment of the rights of speech and of full participation in the political process.”

News and Press Coverage

Recess: When Students Write the Curricula on Transforming Education | The Berkshire Eagle
Some Practical Arguments for the Free Press | Providence Journal
How to Save Journalism | The Boston Globe
Rhode Island Students Take Fight for Civic Education to Courts | The Brown Daily Herald
A. G. Sulzberger Receives NEFAC’s 2020 Hamblett Award | The New York Times
Hearst CT Given FOI Award for Boys, Girls Club Probe | New Haven Register
First Amendment Group Recognizes R.I. Student Activists | The Providence Journal
Student Plaintiffs in R.I. Civics Education Case to Receive 2020 Citizenship Award
Hearst CT Wins New England FOI Award for Boys & Girls Club Coverage | New Haven Register
Hearst Connecticut Media Group to Receive NEFAC’s 2020 Michael Donoghue FOI Award
First Amendment Coalition Honors Times Publisher Sulzberger | Associated Press
A. G. Sulzberger, Publisher of The New York Times, to Receive Hamblett Award
NEFAC Seeks Nominations for Annual Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award
NEFAC Seeks Nominations for Annual Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award

Sponsors and Table Hosts

WBUR | Boston University | Hearst Connecticut Media Group | The Boston Globe | Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP | Northeastern University | Boston 25 News | The Day | Central Connecticut State University | WCVB Boston | Thomas Fiedler | University of Connecticut | University of New Hampshire | Emerson College

Other Supporters and Contributors

New England Newspaper & Press Association